Raiders continue winning ways into new year, topple Panthers 8-1

Napanee's Evan Foley (left) had a pair of goals against his former team in Port Hope on Saturday. File photo.

Adam Prudhomme

There was no holiday hangover for the Napanee Raiders, who opened the 2020 portion of their schedule with a convincing 8-1 road win over the Port Hope Panthers on Saturday.

Six different Raiders found the back of the net, starting with Evan Foley 4:51 into the game on the power-play.

Marshall McFarland doubled the lead just over three minutes after Foley’s strike, notching another power-play goal.

Napanee’s power-play unit was a well-oiled machine all game as they converted on three of their four opportunities. 

Mackenzie Warren and Austin Labelle tacked on goals in the middle frame, sandwiched around a goal from Port Hope’s George Miranda. That would prove to be the lone cause for celebration for the home team, coming at the 15:27 mark.

McFarland and Foley each scored within the opening 2:02 of the third to push the lead to 6-1. Alex Case picked up Napanee’s third man-advantage goal just passed the halfway mark and Bailey Matthews added Napanee’s eight goal at 18:52.

Mitch Bown picked up the win, stopping 16 pucks. Curtis Laviolette made the start for Port Hope, giving way after two periods and four goals. Michael Nckolav started the third and allowed the final four goals. All told Panther net-minders faced 31 shots. 

With the win, Napanee improves to 24-2-1-2 with a healthy 11 point lead over second place Amherstview. The Jets are 19-10-2 (40 points), Gananoque 16-11-1-4 (37) with Picton fourth at 17-12-1-1 (36).

Saturday’s loss dropped Port Hope out of the current playoff picture, falling to 15-11-3-2, one point back of fourth. Campbellford is last at 1-28-0-2. The 44-game regular season will conclude in mid-February. 

The Raiders will visit the surging Picton Pirates-winners of 10 straight-on Thursday. Included in that streak is a 2-1 overtime win over the Raiders back on Dec. 6. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. 

The Raiders visit Campbellford on Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. game time.

Napanee won’t have a home game until Jan. 17, when they face North Kawartha, also a 7:30 p.m. start. 

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